L1 Travel To Beeston on Saturday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies head to Nottingham on Saturday to face Beeston (push back 2 pm) in the Vitality Women's Hockey League Premier Division.
Beeston have already travelled twice to Surbiton this season, losing 2-0 in September, and then having qualified for the Top Six, earning a 1-1 draw exactly a month ago.
Surbiton travel to Nottingham Hockey Centre defending a 100 per cent record at the venue against Beeston, although Beeston achieved their one victory over Surbiton at Sugden Road, Eloise Stenner scoring in Beeston's win (2-1 in November 2018) and becoming the second player to score for both teams in that 2-0 victory in September.
The first was Erica Sanders, who scored for both teams in Nottingham, scoring for Beeston when they lost 3-2 in February 2015 and then helping Surbiton to a 3-1 win in December 2019 (there is something about players with the initials "ES" scoring for both teams in this fixture!)
Surbiton beat Beeston 5-2 in the Promotion Tournament at Reading in 2012 to win promotion to the Premier Division and Beeston followed a season later, setting up the teams' first Premier Division meeting in the East Midlands in November 2013, when Surbiton won 6-2. Surbiton won 3-2 in February 2015, and Beeston were relegated at the end of the season.
The teams met again in October 2018 when Surbiton won 3-1 and that scoreline was repeated in December 2019.
Since Beeston reached the Top 6, they lost narrowly at home to East Grinstead (1-2), drew at Surbiton; won 3-2 at Clifton Robinsons and then lost 4-2 at home to Hampstead & Westminster and last week went down 4-0 at Wimbledon.
Surbiton have won all three games since they drew with Beeston, winning 1-0 at Wimbledon, 6-0 at home to East Grinstead and 4-2 at Hampstead & Westminster last Saturday to open up a four point lead with East Grinstead as their nearest challengers.
Darcy Bourne has been on fire for Surbiton after returning from Argentina on FIH Pro League duty, with hat-tricks against both East Grinstead and Hampstead & Westminster to become Surbiton's leading goalscorer on eleven.
East Grinstead visit Wimbledon and Hampstead & Westminster travel to Bristol to face Clifton Robinsons in the Top Six's other games.
In the Bottom 5, Swansea visit Buckingham and with Holcombe having a bye week, Loughborough Students have a Midlands derby at the University of Birmingham.